PIÑERA ECHENIQUE, SEBASTIAN
President of Chile (2010-2014)
Born in Santiago, Chile on December 1, 1949. He is married to Cecilia Morel, they have 4 children and six grandchildren. He graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile as a Commercial Engineer with a major in Economics and he also has a Master and Doctorate degree from the University of Harvard.
He was professor at the Economics Faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the University of Chile, Adolfo Ibañez University and at the Valparaíso Business School as well as Consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), consultant for the World Bank and he worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
In the early eighties he created Bancard, granting Chilean people access to this new payment and credit system. He became a major shareholder in companies such as Lanchile, Chilevisión and Blanco y Negro (sports club), among others. He created several foundations such as Mujer Emprende (www.mujeremprende.cl), Futuro (www.fundacionfuturo.cl). He also created Tantauco Park (295 acres) on the southern shores of Chiloé Island.
For the Plebiscite of 1988, he was actively involved in bringing back democracy, voting NO to continue with the Military Regime. He was senator between 1990 and 1998. President of the Renovación Nacional party. In 2005 was proclaimed the party’s presidential candidate. Sebastián Piñera and Michelle Bachelet faced in a second round of elections in January 2006, where Michelle Bachelet won with 53.5% of the total ballots.
The political alliance, Coalición por el Cambio, appointed Sebastián Piñera as their official candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in 2009. The calling card of that presidential campaign was a direct contact with men and women of Chile, who were united under two slogans: “Cambio, Futuro y Esperanza” and “Súmate al Cambio”. On March 11, 2010, at the National Congress, Sebastián Piñera was sworn as President of the Republic of Chile.
The government of President Piñera allowed Chile to continue at a steady pace its progress in the construction of a society of real opportunities, real assurances, and strong values; a society where every Chilean citizen could have the same opportunities to achieve their personal fulfillment, and to have the assurance to safely take the risks that implies entrepreneurship, and innovation. Also President Piñera contributed to construct a country where values such as respect for life, liberty, personal and family responsibility, diversity and environmental care are guaranteed. (www.sebastianpinera.cl)
Today he mostly dedicates his time to Avanza Chile Foundation (www.fundacionavanzachile.cl) ; which contributes to the debate of ideas and public policies to expand the opportunities of all chileans and move towards a more democratic, plural , fraternal and fair society.